Armenia’s armed forces have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and his government, prompting him to claim it’s an attempted coup by the military.
The chief of information at the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Samvel Asatryan, said in a statement posted on February 25 that the call came in “resolute protest” against the dismissal of the first deputy chief of the General Staff “for short-sighted reasons.”
The move “was carried out without taking into account the national and state interests of the Republic of Armenia. In such difficult conditions for the country, such a decision is an anti-state, irresponsible step.”
“The prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, the government, will no longer be able to make adequate decisions in this critical situation for the Armenian people,” the statement added.
In response, Pashinian called for his supporters to gather in the center of the capital, Yerevan.
“I consider the statement of the General Staff as an attempt at a military coup. I invite all our supporters to Republic Square right now. I will be going live to the public soon,” Pashinian wrote on Facebook.
Pashinian has faced protests and calls to resign after what his critics say was the disastrous handling of a bloody six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh last year.